For those of you who “believe in public school”, why?

It’s my understanding that some public schools are good, some are bad, and virtually all are designed to a) teach kids certain academic subjects, b) teach kids to be good American citizens and c) teach kids to be good employees (or, more cynically, factory workers). Those last two aren’t goals I have for my kids, and my own experience as a student in six different public school systems was frankly miserable. So I’ve pretty much written it off as an option for my kids.

I know people who “believe in public school” as a public good, and feel that one should send one’s children to public schools as a way of supporting or enhancing the schools. I haven’t studied this from a theory perspective, and I don’t understand the argument. Why should I send my kids to public school?

I probably won’t, but I’m interested in the arguments for it, because I really don’t know them.